A few years ago, I saw a remarkable video from Kutiman. It was an album entitled Thru You, and it consisted entirely of samples taken from Youtube. Remarkable because the artist and the musicians never met, and because it could never be released, entangled as it would be in copyright law. But somehow, this mashup seemed transitory, paving the way for music which was carved from thin air.
Fast-forward to this. The song Somebody I Used To Know has been hugely popular; perhaps because it sounds like Sting reincarnate, perhaps because its novel, simple, rhythmic melody is in sharp contrast to the increasingly blurred, distorted Dub-Pop that dominates top forty airwaves. Whatever.
Because of the quirky popularity, Somebody That I Used To Know has been parodied, replayed, and redone myriad ways, from Star Wars complaints to acapella covers. And now it’s come full circle. Gotye himself has recut the videos and homages, making it his own.
There’s something touching, and wonderfully whole, about this. To have crafted a tune that touches the world, and have that world touch you back in celebration, is what the Internet is all about.
Watch this and imagine how he must feel right now.